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Adopting my Daughter

fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11411
    
  16

I posted a thread in the This Site/JavaRanch area, and it has been suggested i post more here.
I blame/thank JavaRanch specifically, and Sun more generally for the fact that my wife and i are in the process of adopting a girl from China. In a way, it's MD's fault.
Back in December, somebody from India had a delima, and posted here in MD. He was married, and didn't want children because he felt the world was in a sorry state. His wife did want kids, and he was getting guff from others about not having children. Apparently there is a cultural stigmata where he is from. And no, I do not wish to debate that.
I made a few posts, and suggested adoption as a possible solution. I listed several points about why adoption is a valid option, how it solves some of his problems, and helps the world in general.
Fast forward to a few days later with my wife, Stacey. We often talk about what we did at our respective jobs, and interesting web sites, blogs, emails, etc. come up. I started telling her the points i raised, and somehow convinced her that SHE wanted to adopt. We had sort of decided to not have kids of our own, and i was happy with our life - going on weekend trips, buying fun toys for the house, etc.
Over the next month, we talked about it a lot more. Eventually, after going to some meetings and talking to some friends (three couples who have adopted a total of 6 children), we started the process in January.
The main thing we've done so far is paperwork. Proof of employment. Police background checks. Writing an autobiography. Then we had to get 5 people (2 family memebers and 3 non-family members) to write letters telling the social worker why we'd be good parents.
In the middle of all this, we've met with a social worker (Linda) twice. Once at her office, for about 2 hours. 30 minutes of her interviewing me, without Stacey. 30 minutes of Stacey being interviewed without me. Then, we were brought together, for another hour or so.
This past Friday, Linda came to our house. More questions [Are you prepared for the racism (we're adopting a girl from China, we are Caucasions who live in the U.S.A.) you will encounter? What is your philosophy of child rearing? How much time will you take off when you go to China, and will there be a reduction in income for taking personal time?].
so far, it's going pretty well. There are times when i am very excited, times when i am scarred to death, and times when i think "what have i gotten myself into". But as we go along, the excited parts are winning more and more.
We still have a long way to go. The entire process can take over a year, and we just started in January (we actually turned in our application on Chinese New Year). I'll try to keep this up to date, as several people have expressed intrest in my story. It's not a unique story, as there are thousands of others who have already done this. But sometimes MD gets a little heavy. I hope this helps people to not only think of MD as a place to complain, argue, etc.
If anyone has questions about the process, please feel free to post them here and i'll answer them as best i can.
thanks everybody!!!
[ May 05, 2004: Message edited by: fred rosenberger ]

There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
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Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Fred,
Congratulations: you and wife are saints for doing this. Good luck with everythings. Wow.
All best,
M


Java Regular Expressions
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Wow! Thanks for sharing that with us.
And all from one thread in MD...
John Smith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
I can't even start to think what would happen if James Gosling was hit by a bus sometime in 1990. Would China even exist now?
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
I said it in the other thread but I'll say it again here: That is so cool! We can only hope that your story here serves to inspire others who might be thinking about travelling down a similar road.
It's merely a nice bonus that MD (the old "out of control" MD at that) is what you point to as helping to point your familiy in this direction, further highlighting what a few of the moderators have always known about the MD community and what a special place it was.
I would love to hear more as things progress!
[ May 05, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Philippe Maquet
Bartender

Joined: Jun 02, 2003
Posts: 1872
Hi Fred,
Congratulations for what you're doing!
I'm happy - though not surprised at all - to read that JavaRanch changed your life...
Sometimes, it just changes your next night: I felt depressed tonight, enough to no post anything on my own forums, and - by chance (thanks to M.. ) - I was lucky enough to read this thread... Thank you!
Please keep us posted!
Best regards,
Phil.
Andrew Monkhouse
author and jackaroo
Marshal Commander

Joined: Mar 28, 2003
Posts: 11480
    
  94

Hi Fred,
That is fantastic. I hope everything works out well for your new family when you do finally adopt. Please do keep us updated as the adoption progresses.
Regards, Andrew


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Ellen Zhao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 17, 2002
Posts: 581
To Fred,
You've made a decision which is by no means easy and trivial, let me wish you, your wife, the baby and the family who broght you the baby best luck and much happiness. The road ahead is not totally smooth but I believe you can handle it very well.

To Eugene,
I seriously tell you whether China exists now or not is not decided merely by Mr. Gosling, the creator of the java programming language who I personally respect very much. You neglected at least other 1.4 billion of people's influence on that matter, which seems to me, at the very least, immature. I can understand how excited you are for the people who involved in this adoption and I am very happy about that too. But I don't think your wording is nice enough. Mr. Habibi please have a look. I personally think that sentence had better at least be edited. Thank you.

best wishes and best regards,
Ellen
[Map just corrected a typo]
[ May 05, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Marilyn de Queiroz
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 22, 2000
Posts: 9047
    
  10
Thank you for sharing, Fred.


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"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift; that's why they call it the present." Eleanor Roosevelt
Stan James
(instanceof Sidekick)
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
We adopted once ... I say our daughter fell out of the sky. We decided to try to adopt and almost immediately a friend from a lawyer's office called to say an attorney who rarely handled adoptions just heard from a mom-to-be asking for help. He hooked us up in a matter of days.
We tried again a couple years later and found the paper work and dead ends and near misses and unknown people asking for gobs of money very distressing. Fortunately my son came along the old fashioned way and we were able to give that path up.
Anyhow, I'm all for it! Best of luck getting through the zillions of systems you'll have to deal with. Your resolve will doubtless be tried, but the reward will be worth it!


A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
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Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Good stuff! Best of wishes!
I hope we can help to instill many positive values in your child over the upcoming years, like, um... naming policies.


A good workman is known by his tools.
basha khan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 26, 2002
Posts: 516
You r a dignified and esteemed person,fred.
I cant think abt adoption now coz various reasons.one of them is i did'nt married yet.I'll concider it when all things comes in a good favour.
Best wishes for all ur effort.
---
basha
Katyayani Kumar Pushkar
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 19, 2004
Posts: 10
Hi Fred
Congratulations, Realy you have done a good thing. Its an encouragement to the couples withou any child.
Regards!
Pushkar
Sameer Jamal
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 16, 2001
Posts: 1870
Congratulations Fred
it is only Because of people like you world is a better place to live.
Suresh Thota
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 24, 2003
Posts: 152
That's great fred.
Cheers
-Suresh


SCJP 1.6
John Dunn
slicker
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Joined: Jan 30, 2003
Posts: 1108
SJ: unknown people asking for gobs of money very distressing.
What kind of numbers are we talking about, here? 10K? 20K? 30K?


"No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does."
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11411
    
  16

There are several different kinds of adoptions. There are private adoptions, where the birth-parents and the adopting parents meet through a lawyer, contracts are drawn up, fees are paid, etc.
There is adoptions through a state agency - here it's called the Division of family services, or DFS.
And, there are international adoptions. There are special, not-for-profit agencies that specialize in helping people do the paperwork requried by the various countries involved.
Each costs different amounts, has different time frames, requirements, etc.
We are going through Childrens Hope International (site). There, they post estimated costs, which vary based on what country you are adopting from. China is estimated at around $16,000 (including travel for 2). Russia can be $19k - $26k.
I have no idea how much domestic or private adoptions are. We chose what we did for reasons other than financial.
Max Habibi
town drunk
( and author)
Sheriff

Joined: Jun 27, 2002
Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Ellen Zhao:
To Fred,
You've made a decision which is by no means easy and trivial, let me wish you, your wife, the baby and the family who broght you the baby best luck and much happiness. The road ahead is not totally smooth but I believe you can handle it very well.

To Eugene,
I seriously tell you whether China exists now or not is not decided merely by Mr. Gosling, the creator of the java programming language who I personally respect very much. You neglected at least other 1.4 billion of people's influence on that matter, which seems to me, at the very least, immature. I can understand how excited you are for the people who involved in this adoption and I am very happy about that too. But I don't think your wording is nice enough. Mr. Habibi please have a look. I personally think that sentence had better at least be edited. Thank you.

best wishes and best regards,
Ellen
[Map just corrected a typo]
[ May 05, 2004: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

Ellen,
I'm really pretty sure that Eugene was making a joke, but one that's lost on me: maybe a little latent Da-Daism?
I'm trying to walk a fine line between nipping destructive rhetoric in the bud and censoring people. I don't always do it well, I know, but I'm really trying as hard as I can to be fair.
Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with this post, though another moderator might. I hope you realize, however, that I'm not just dismissing your concerns.
All best,
M
R K Singh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
One never knows, when and from where one can get inspiration to do great things ..
Fred, all the best to your sweet family.


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Maybe Eugene will explain what he means, because I am also confused.


Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Balaji Loganathan
author and deputy
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Joined: Jul 13, 2001
Posts: 3150
Thats really really a great move you had made.
<center> ..!KUDOS!.. </center>
John Smith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 08, 2001
Posts: 2937
Max: I'm really pretty sure that Eugene was making a joke, but one that's lost on me: maybe a little latent Da-Daism?
Map: Maybe Eugene will explain what he means, because I am also confused.

Well, the original poster thanked the Meaningless Drivel and Sun Microsystems for leading him to the decision to adopt a baby from China. Depending on one's state of mind at the moment of reading it, one may find it very humorous or philosophical (or perhaps both). I just extended the original thought -- if James Gosling was hit by a bus in 1990, maybe there would not be Java, and pehaps Sun Microsystems would go bancrupt. Subsequently, JavaRanch and MD would not exist either, so Fred might never have been inspired to adopt a baby from China. To sum it all, the hypothetical bus driver that did not hit James Gosling in 1990 deserves as much thanks from Fred as the MD community.
Hope that clears things up a bit.
Syam Veerakumar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 20, 2001
Posts: 49
Great Fred...I really appreciate the saint thing you have done..May the little one brings happiness and wealth to you and your family


A Quitter Never Wins<br />A Winner Never Quits
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11411
    
  16

Latest update - really not much, but an interesting side story. Yesterday my wife and i had to go to the county police department to request a background check. It's a common practice for anyone who wants to work with children (I did it 10 years ago when i became a high school math teacher).

While we were there, we saw them taking away a guy in handcuffs. Turns out, he came in for a background check. While he was there, they ran him, and found a couple of warrents for is arrest. Breaking and entering, burglary and something else.

If you are under suspician for B&E, WHY ON EARTH would you go to the POLICE STATION, and ask them to run your record???

And the scary part is the women there said that it happens "almost every day"...

There is no limit to the depths of human stupidity...
Damien Howard
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 01, 2003
Posts: 456
He probably did not know he had a warrant out for his capture. He probably thought he had gotten away with the robbery.
Stan James
(instanceof Sidekick)
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Joined: Jan 29, 2003
Posts: 8791
Criminals are not the smartest part society. Folks with brains are Java developers.
Warren Dew
blacksmith
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
fred rosenberger:

Latest update - really not much, but an interesting side story. Yesterday my wife and i had to go to the county police department to request a background check. It's a common practice for anyone who wants to work with children

Phew. I thought you were going to say they needed a background check on the baby....
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
of course sometimes people are wrongly accused.
You don't know the story, so don't judge the person.

It IS possible someone holds a grudge against a person and calls in his/her name as a suspect for criminal activity when watching a copshow on TV.

It is of course more likely the person indeed is guilty as charged and stupid about it (or had forgotten about an old charge for something he did years ago).


42
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
of course sometimes people are wrongly accused.
You don't know the story, so don't judge the person.

It IS possible someone holds a grudge against a person and calls in his/her name as a suspect for criminal activity when watching a copshow on TV.

It is of course more likely the person indeed is guilty as charged and stupid about it (or had forgotten about an old charge for something he did years ago).

What is actually IMO more disturbing is that the police waited to arrest this person until he came forward.
The fact that he came to the police for a background check suggests he has a known name and address which the police should have had available.
Link that to the arrest warrant and they could have just driven out and picked him up, why didn't they?
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11411
    
  16

Not to get off on too much of a tangent, but...

It IS possible someone holds a grudge against a person and calls in his/her name as a suspect for criminal activity


That won't get a warrant - that will just get you investigated. there has to be some hard evidence before a warrant is put out on you. The prosecutors have to feel that they have SOME kind of case against you.

What is actually IMO more disturbing is that the police waited to arrest this person

I can't speak about elsewhere, but people move around a LOT in the city (St. Louis, at least). When i was teaching there, i had a kid transfer into my class a few months into the year, out a few months later, and back in for the end of the year. The police probably DID have a name/address for him, but they were out of date. When you go in, you provide your name, current address, and Social Security number. It's the SSN that links everything together.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11411
    
  16

yesterday we mailed our paperwork to the INS. This is the sort of "petition to adopt a foreign child" form. It is mostly a rubber stamp kind of thing at this point, but a neccesary one. Right now, this process is taking betwee 2-6 weeks. we'll be fingerprinted and have MORE background checks done.

After this, we go to the Missouri Secretary of State. It's a lot of waiting for other people to do stuff, then we do one or two things, then wait some more.

we're guessing right now we'll travel in the late winter/early spring of next year (2005).

Really not a very exciting update, but an update none-the-less.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Thanks for the update, Fred!
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11411
    
  16

Two updates. We got a call from Immigration and Naturalization Services. They have received our package. They went through it, and discovered we didn't remember to send them the check.

I hope they don't take that as a sign of us being too irresponsible.

And another funny note - the amount we're supposed to send them is $525, plus $70 for each person being fingerprinted. there's my wife and myself, making it $140 (i know we can all do the math, but i'm drawing this out to heighten the dramatic tension. That makes the total for us to send... $665. The Neighbor of the Beast. I hope THAT is not a sign of things to come either!!
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Lucky you. My sister got married in the US, took over half a year for the paperwork to be completed so she had all the paper to prove to Dutch authorities she was indeed married...

She had to order (and pay for) the same piece of paper 3 times because somehow it always got lost or incorrectly done.
Get something sent (pay cash to get it first of course), fill out the form, send it back (with payment for the next stage), get a reply, repeat ad infinitum.

She got to know the phone number of her contact in Nevada quite well, and the telco got to love them for the number of long distance calls.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11411
    
  16

It's a little easier for us, because i was born in St. Louis, which is where i live today. My wife was born in Chicago, which is only 480km away or so. we could drive there if we have to.

We got married < 3 years ago, so we still were able to find our license. And this part only requried photocopies of everything.

Next is taking it all to the Missouri Secretary of State. that's a drive of 170km or so. still easy.

Then it goes to the Chinese Embassy in Chicago, where they take 3-4 days to process. I know some families hire couriers, rather than trust the postal service. I think if it gets lost at this point, i'd just steal a baby somewhere - it'd be easier. (that's a joke).

What i htink will be REALLY scary is sending the whole deal to China. EVERYTHING is in that packet, and if it's lost at that point, we're just screwed...
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11411
    
  16

My wife and i managed to actually mail the check over the weekend. so, we are now offcially in a "hurry up and wait" mode. again.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11411
    
  16

Got a letter from the Department of Homeland Security a few weeks ago. At first, I figured they'd been using Carnivore and read my emails, or read some of my posts in other forums here. :-)

Turns out that Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly Immigration and Naturalization Services) is now under the DoHS. All that was in the letter was our appointments to get fingerprinted.

It was kind of cool to have it done. Their machine basically has 2 small flatbed scanners. First, they put your four fingers from one hand on, and capture them all. Then the do the same for the other hand. I guess they do this to determine how long your fingers are, or where your prints are in relation to each other???

They do the thumb on a separate pane of glass - don't know why. but after they get all those, they then do each finger individually. These are all done on the same panel they originally did the thumb on. And this time, they "roll" the finger, like you've probably seen in the cop shows, only there is no ink. The print comes up on a monitor, and is HUGE. The computer tells the employee if the print is good or not - i.e. too dark here, missing there, etc.

The cool thing was seeing all the scars on my fingers. apparently all those paper cuts or whatever also leave marks on your fingers. And my wife had even more, since she used to Chef. Every knife cut left another mark on her fingers. You never notice them until they're blown up about 10 times their normal size, but then they're obvious when you look at your fingers.

So now we're waiting for another form from the government. We're getting close to being "paperwork pregnant" now - that's where everything is sent to China and we wait about 6 months for the referral.

So, one step closer than we were on friday morning.
[ July 20, 2004: Message edited by: fred rosenberger ]
Helen Thomas
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Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
Good luck, fred.
Fingerprinting. Yuck.
Got fingerprinted once in Munich. Or could have been Frankfurt. They used an ink pad and paper.


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"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11411
    
  16

Thanks for the kind thoughts, Helen.

I am glad that they don't use ink anymore. I'd hate to walk around with black ink on my fingers for 3 days until it wore off.

I suppose the other advantage to doing it digitally like this is that the searching/matching has GOT to be a lot faster than paper cards.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
My guess is they use the first scan to get a lowres picture for use in initial highspeed searches against the database.
If that search flags a possible match the highres scan from the second pass (on the other machine) can be used for a detailed match.
Should save a lot of computer time that way.

I've nothing against fingerprinting, IMO having biometrics such as fingerprints and maybe others included on driver's licenses and passports (as will soon be required in many countries) will make them that much harder to fake and make it easier to confirm whether the person carrying the papers is real or not (just check if the prints match with the person AND are on file as matching those for the passport number, fake passports may match 2 out of 3 but not all 3 unless there's a mole in the passport office).

I think in this case it's pretty much the same, they want to check your prints against those of known child abusers to make sure you're not one of them under another name.
[ July 20, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
 
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subject: Adopting my Daughter